Repairs and maintenance in council and housing association homes
Your landlord is responsible for most repairs in your council or housing association home.
The council or housing association is responsible for:
the safety of your home
The council or housing association is responsible for most repairs in your home including:
heating and hot water
toilets, baths, pipes and sinks
electrical wiring and any appliances they provide
common areas such as lifts and communal entrances
the structure and exterior of the building – including the roof, walls, windows and external doors
Your tenancy agreement sets out any extra responsibilities your landlord has.
Your landlord won't have to fix damage caused by you or your guests. If they do repair something you've damaged, you can be charged for this.
Health and safety
They should also make sure your home is fit to live in.
Your home may not be fit to live in because of hazards such as:
broken windows, falling plaster, or dangerous stairs
You can complain to your council or housing association if there are health and safety problems in your home.
Your responsibilities include:
keeping your home and garden reasonably clean and tidy
fixing or paying for any damage caused by you or your guests
carrying out minor jobs such as replacing smoke alarm batteries and light bulbs
Your tenants' handbook or tenancy agreement might set out any other responsibilities you have.
Decorating your home
You're usually responsible for decorating your home.
Your landlord could be responsible for redecoration:
if damp or disrepair damaged your home
following damage caused by repair work
Ask your landlord to pay something towards redecoration costs if the property is in a poor state of decoration when you start your tenancy.
Furnishing your home
Your home is usually unfurnished unless you're in temporary or supported housing.
You're expected to provide your own:
You're responsible for repairing or replacing them.
If you can't afford to repair or replace things you may be able to apply for a:
budgeting advance - if you get universal credit
budgeting loan - if you get income support, JSA, ESA or pension credit
What to do about repair issues
Report your issue to the council or housing association. Include details of:
repair problems that need fixing
how your health is being affected
You must allow your landlord or their contractor access to see what the problem is and what can be done about it. Allow a reasonable time for the work to be done.
If your landlord doesn’t do repairs
Contact your council or housing association landlord again if they take too long to do repairs or don't keep to an agreement about what should be repaired.
You can make a complaint if you're not happy with their response.
Damage to your home during repairs
Your landlord should fix any damage caused by their repair or maintenance work.
You can ask for a rent reduction if you can't use all or part of your home because of repair work.
Last updated: 18 March 2019